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1st Edition

Sperry, Chuck More info
Hangar 18
Edition Details
Technique:Screen Print
Paper:Archival cream paper
Size:19 X 35
Markings:Signed & Numbered
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January 25-26 (SF) | February 09 (LA)
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3 color screen print

"It’s Edwardian Ball time again, and as always, it’s a great pleasure to work with Justin Katz, the Edwardian Ball impresario, and once again I had a lot of fun making this poster!

My Edwardian Ball posters always have an edge of social critique in them. They are done with a wink and a nod, in keeping with the enjoyment of attending such an elaborate period pageant.

Most of the attendees also realize that the Edwardian era was one of unabashed and ostentatious oligarchy, unrivaled economic imperialism and a presumed European superiority complex. It’s all of these things that makes the period so bizarre to us today. I’ve always endeavored to reveal this outrageous and bizarre sense of imperial entitlement in my Edwardian Ball posters, and keep them wild and fun.

I try to channel the spirit of our age in a non-linear way with each year’s Edwardian Ball poster, making allegory, or touching a simple parallel between our 21st Century experience and the far-away world of Edwardian “Society.”

2019 was the year we entered “The Post-Truth World.” I’m not buying the ticket to that ride, really-but-really, but it made me think of the eminently Edwardian and irrational — Rasputin — spiritualist, con-man and emotional vampire to the Czar Romanov family.

Spiritualists were fashionable to the ultra-wealthy oligarchs of the period. Rasputin boasted the mirror-image of a perfect pedigree: a peasant and holy man. His ferrel lack of charm and grace was thrilling to the elite circles he traversed in imperial Russia. Rasputin’s folksy and disarming gnosticism was — I’ll use a word a word we hear a lot today — “unprecedented.”

Clever and conniving, Rasputin snaked away the patronage of Czarina Alexandra Romanov, empress of Russia, with its ability to bestow wealth and prestige. By degrees, he would hold a nation’s leader mesmerized, and participate in bringing about the self-destruction of Russia’s imperial order.

Soon the fabulously wealthy dynastic Romanov family, would abdicate their empire, be brought down by the Bolsheviks, become prisoners of the revolution, and be bound for bleak incarceration and execution. I guess the moral is: Don’t be a sucker to a con-man." -- Sperry
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